Tax records offer clues to age of 'Hagedorn Homestead' at 603 Bassett Road
In the last issue we discussed the Henry and Marie Hagedorn House at 600 Bassett Road, circa 1908. Now we will discuss Henry’s grandparents' house that still exists across the street from it at 603 Bassett Road. It is another gable-and-wing structure of a little over 1,300 square feet that sits close to the east side of the road as you pass over the railroad tracks from Westlake to Bay Village. It is currently painted a mustard brown color with light blue shutters.
It is known as the "Hagedorn Homestead" and is one of only 25 homes in Bay Village that were called “Historic Homes of Bay Village” in the City of Bay Village Architectural Design Review Standards Workbook prepared for the city by Metro One Design Group in 1994. Since that time three of these elite 25 have been torn down and one “re-muddled.”
I have not written about 603 Bassett Road until now because there has been a lot of confusion about when it was actually constructed. The county auditor lists its year of construction as 1833. Some other sources say 1857. There is also confusion about both first and last names of the original owners. This is probably why it has been known simply as the “Hagedorn Homestead.” It has been quite an enigma until now!
A map of Dover Township published by Blackmore and Harris in 1852 shows Caleb Eddy as still owning all 160 acres of Original Dover Township Lot 83 (O.L. 83), which included all of the frontage on the east side of Bassett Road from what is today the railroad tracks (the southern boundary of Bay Village) north to where Wolf Road now intersects Bassett Road. So forget about the 1833 construction date.
A family history, generously provided to the Bay Village Historical Society by a Hagedorn descendent, Janet Marie Toensing, has Henry and Maria “Katherine” Kuhlenkaspers Hagedorn coming from Hanover, Germany, to America around 1852. They are known by the family as the ancestors of the many Hagedorn descendants who have lived in Dover Township and Bay Village since that time. The family history states that when Henry and Katherine Hagedorn arrived in America, they bought 30 acres of farmland at 603 Bassett Road and began farming. However, the story set forth by the land records is not quite that simple.
On April 28, 1856, a deed was recorded transferring 40 acres of land in O.L. 83 from Caleb Eddy to George H. Hagedon of “Cleveland County” for the purchase price of $800 ($20 per acre). As the spelling of names was more fluid in these early years, “George H. Hagedon” most likely refers to (George) Henry Hagedorn, the family patriarch.
A map prepared by G. M. Hopkins in 1858 still only shows one home on the Bassett Road frontage of O.L. 83 and it is just south of Porter Creek on the portion of O.L. 83 still owned by Caleb Eddy at that time, north of the 40 acres shown on the map as owned by “H. Hagaden.” An 1860 Cuyahoga County tax map does not show the future Hagedorn house either, so forget about the 1857 construction date, but George is still listed as owning 40 acres of O.L. 83 in the tax records that year.
During the 1860s some of the Hagedon/Hagedorn land transferred to John H. Hagedon and other parties. In 1870 he owned 10 acres, a William Smith/Schmidt owned 10 acres and George continued to own 20 acres of the original 40 acres purchased in 1856. The tax value per acre on all three parcels is listed at about $12 in 1870. It is worthy to note here that it is not until the 20th century that the value of the land and the value of any structures on the land are separated out in tax records. In 1871 the value jumps to $20 per acre on John and William Smith's parcels while George’s land increases that amount with an additional $125 in tax value. This indicates that a structure was constructed on the property in 1871 – the structure that we now know as 603 Bassett Road!
The family history states that once Henry and Katherine died, their youngest son, William, and his wife, Caroline, and eight children made the homestead their home. Henry died in 1891 and Katherine on Dec. 10, 1903. The George H. Hagedorn 20 acres transferred to William Hagedorn by will on Jan. 5, 1904, and to F. William Hagedorn by will on June 7, 1905. The family history states that “Wilhelm” Friedrich Hagedorn died in 1929.
The 1939 Bay Directory has the home occupied by Donald and Margaret Glendenning. The Glendennings occupied the house until at least 1954. Robert J. Gregory occupied it until 1962 and Kenneth and Helen Summer until 1980. Doug Gertz, the current president of the Bay Village Historical Society occupied the house in 1980 and the Gertz family owned the home for 20 years until they sold it to Deborah S. Rossman in 2000.
Rossman, another history lover, formerly worked for Westlake Porter Public Library as their local history librarian and is the author of “Images of America: Westlake” printed by Arcadia Publishing in 2008. County auditor records show the home is currently owned by Deborah S. and Frank L. Loiacono. Congratulations, Deborah, on your marriage to Frank! Needless to say, this little home has been the location of many happy events in its 144 long years.
William Krause with research assistance by Dean Brennan
William R. Krause, AICP I am the Assistant Planning Director for the City of Westlake. I have worked for Westlake for 26 years. I served on the Bay Village Planning Commission for 5 years. I am a member of the Reuben Osborn Learning Center Steering Committee. I am a Board Member and Historian for the Westlake Historical Society and a Trustee of the Western Reserve Architectural Historians. I have been married to Debra for 34 years and am the father of three grown children, grandfather of one and owner of two Shih Tzu's and a Rat Terrier mix.